Friday, 16 December 2011

Bernie Isn't Expecting F1 To Be Big In America

Bernie Ecclestone isn't expecting Formula 1 to be a major sport in America in the foreseeable future. Asked by the legendary interviewer David Frost on Al Jazeera, if he expected Formula One to be big in America in 10 year's time, Ecclestone replied: "No, We've got a maximum of two races in America and when you consider the country is as big as Europe and we've got several races in Europe, it's difficult (for the United States).

"If we had a lot more races there and a lot more television it would be okay. It's (also) a bit like the rest of America in that they want to see a profit before they start something and it's not easy to do that.

Formula 1 returns to the schedule next year with a new race in Austin, Texas and the following year with a street race in New Jersey against the backdrop of New York's Manhattan skyline.

America might not flock to F1 but Ecclestone has other new territories on his radar, "Formula 1 will not be big in America. But Formula 1 will be in Russia for 2014, and in South Africa by 2013 even." adds the F1 supremo.

Bernie though cautioned he wasn't keen on extending the calendar any more than the 20 races, "We have enough countries waiting (to come on board) but I think we have to stop now. It's difficult for the people who work in Formula One with all the traveling. They never see their families, that's the big problem." he said.

When questioned about going to Bahrain this year, Ecclestone wasn't too concerned about any unrest, saying "We're happy to go there, if we are invited we'll be delighted."

One thing Ecclestone was proud of in his 30 plus years in the sport was the improvement in safety "If somebody has an accident today in a Formula One car, pick whatever speed you like, you see these guys have a big accident, undo their safety belts and get out - which is wonderful." said the 81 year old.

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